Home Music Album Review: Hellcats – The Hex and The Healer

Album Review: Hellcats – The Hex and The Healer

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At the end of January Henno already wrote an article about “The Hex and The Healer” (the debut album from Joburg garage rockers Hellcats). I only had a chance to review it now.

On the album Alessandro (drums and vocals) and Warwick (guitar) kept it simple: No extra instruments. So just drums, guitars and vocals. And that also means no bass.

The Hex and The Healer
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When I started listening I doubted that… I mean, how heavy and deep can you make a guitar? There must be a bass playing along! Listening a bit more intense I found that “no, that’s just guitar.”
The album is 22 minutes long (which is a bit short for a full length album), but it does contain 8 tracks.

The opener, ‘The Hex’, immediately sets the tone with a fast pace guitar lick, thundering drums and Alessandro’s driven vocals. Well, if I knew I would not be getting sweet ballads. What would you do?

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‘Vuil Goed’ is not the Afrikaans Rock ‘n Roll you might expect from the title. No, all the single ladies get on the floor. Fast verses that first come to a stop with a new riff introducing the chorus.

‘Moonlight’ starts with a Black Sabbath like riff where Allesandro’s vocals then pierce through. “In the Moonlight, maybe we can make it right.”

‘Time’ opens with a phaser effect on the guitar but it’s also the song where I get into trouble. Although I really like the album, it’s getting hard to make a distinction between the songs. They all have the thunderous licks, fast drums and the vocals filling the upper sound spectrum. And all are high energy tracks.

A thing of ‘Time’ is that halfway the songs slows down considerably only to pick up the high tempo just before the end.
‘The Healer’ finally gives us a bit of a breather with it being a bit slower.

The following three tracks ‘Leaving with a Hole’, ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ and ‘Wish You Were Dead’ continue as most of the album was; high speed, high energy.

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My review summary for “The Hex and The Healer”

I enjoyed the album but it did become quite monotonous, also because we only have 2 instruments and vocals to listen to. And having most songs in C sharp (I guess that Warwick’s guitar is downtuned to that) doesn’t help.

Do you agree with my assessment of the album? Leave a comment below and let me know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome.

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